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Also Known As: Richard Baker, Richard A Baker Died:
Born: December 8, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Binghamton, New York, USA Profession: special effects artist, special makeup effects designer, technical advisor, actor, producer, puppet designer, lab assistant, writer, monster designer, costume designer, special effects sculptor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In a pop culture world bursting with science fiction and fantasy, there was perhaps no special effects makeup artist more respected, admired or sought after than Rick Baker. From humble beginnings cooking up monster masks in his mother's kitchen, Baker's talent and sheer enthusiasm catapulted him from his first Hollywood job as a makeup assistant on "The Exorcist" (1973) to supervising the creation of a bevy of cantina aliens in "Star Wars" (1977) and crafting arguably the scariest post-modern wolfman in "An American Werewolf in London" (1981). Thanks in part to his work on Michael Jackson's 1983 music video "Thriller," in which he turned the pop star and his backup performers into a troupe of the dancing undead, the phrase "Rick Baker, Monster Maker" became a household name. He soon found himself crafting creatures for "Harry and the Hendersons" (1987), "Men in Black" (1997) and Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes" (2001). An unabashed horror movie buff, Baker's career went into a decidedly comedic direction with his collaboration with comedian Eddie Murphy, whom he transformed into a bevy of characters, including the portly Sherman Klump in "The Nutty Professor," (1996) and its sequel. Despite...

In a pop culture world bursting with science fiction and fantasy, there was perhaps no special effects makeup artist more respected, admired or sought after than Rick Baker. From humble beginnings cooking up monster masks in his mother's kitchen, Baker's talent and sheer enthusiasm catapulted him from his first Hollywood job as a makeup assistant on "The Exorcist" (1973) to supervising the creation of a bevy of cantina aliens in "Star Wars" (1977) and crafting arguably the scariest post-modern wolfman in "An American Werewolf in London" (1981). Thanks in part to his work on Michael Jackson's 1983 music video "Thriller," in which he turned the pop star and his backup performers into a troupe of the dancing undead, the phrase "Rick Baker, Monster Maker" became a household name. He soon found himself crafting creatures for "Harry and the Hendersons" (1987), "Men in Black" (1997) and Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes" (2001). An unabashed horror movie buff, Baker's career went into a decidedly comedic direction with his collaboration with comedian Eddie Murphy, whom he transformed into a bevy of characters, including the portly Sherman Klump in "The Nutty Professor," (1996) and its sequel. Despite advances in computer technology, and a new generation of effects artists likely inspired to join the business by the artist himself, Baker - with his graying hair pulled back into his ever-present ponytail - promised to remain a vibrant and irreplaceable force on fantastical film sets for years to come.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Men in Black III (2012)
2.
 Wolfman, The (2010)
3.
 Planet of the Apes (2001) Old Ape No 2
4.
 Into The Night (1985) Drug Dealer
6.
 Gorillas: Primal Contact (2002) Interviewee
7.
 Good Book of Love: Sex in the Bible, The (2000) Re-Creation Actor
8.
 Prisoners of the Colombian Drug War (2000) Re-Creation Actor
9.
 Masters of Fantasy: Rick Baker (1998) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Entered industry as chief lab assistant to celebrated makeup artist Dick Smith
:
Worked as a puppet designer for Clokey Studios
:
Special effects sculptor for TV commercials including "Block buster" for Vicks Sinex, "King Kong" for Volkswagen and "Cowardly Cat" for Purina
1971:
Feature debut as performer (in gorilla suit), "Schlock"; first collaboration with writer-director John Landis
1972:
Created special effects makeup for first film, "The Thing With Two Heads"
1976:
Appeared in costume in the title role of Dino De Laurentiis' production of "King Kong"
1977:
Acted in Landis' "Kentucky Fried Movie"
1977:
Credited for 2nd unit makeup on "Star Wars"; worked on the celebrated cantina sequence
1979:
Co-wrote (with Joe Camp) the story for the children's film "The Double McGuffin"
1980:
Hired by Steven Spielberg to design hostile aliens for an abortive film project entitled "Night Skies"; fired by Spielberg after a heated exchange over budgetary concerns
:
Utilized his "Night Skies" crew as the nucleus for his own London-based makeup effects company, EFX Inc.
1980:
Credited as "special makeup effects consultant" on "The Howling"
1981:
Did some of his most celebrated special makeup effects work on Landis' "An American Werewolf in London"
1984:
Credited for "costume design (primate)" for "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes" (also did special makeup effects)
1986:
Credited as a chimpanzee consultant on Nagisa Oshima's "Max mon amour"
1987:
Designed the werewolf for the Fox series, "Werewolf"
1987:
Created the makeup for Ron Perlman's role of Vincent, the beast on the romance series "Beauty and the Beast"
1988:
Served as an associate producer on "Gorillas in the Mist" (also did special makeup effects)
1988:
Engineered Michael Jackson's facial transformation in the bestselling "Moonwalker" video
1990:
Served as co-producer and special effects supervisor for the Gremlins and Mogwai in Dante's "Gremlins 2: The New Batch"
1994:
Co-produced the TV movie, "Betrayed By Love"
1996:
Earned an Oscar for creating the makeup effects for the remake of "The Nutty Professor" starring Eddie Murphy
1997:
Designed the makeup effects for "Men in Black"; shared the Academy Award for Best Makeup
1999:
Garnered Oscar nomination for his makeup designs for "Life" co-starring Murphy
2000:
Reprised award-winning designs for the sequel "The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps"
2000:
Won oscar for the makeup effects he designed for the box-office smash, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
2001:
Reteamed with Tim Burton on the makeup effects for the remake of "Planet of the Apes"
2002:
Credited for alien makeup effects in "Men in Black II'
2004:
Created Ron Perlman's look for "Hellboy"
2005:
Credited as special makeup effects consultant for "X-Men: The Last Stand'
2007:
Again collaborated with Eddie Murphy for "Norbit"; earned his eleventh Academy Award nomination
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Notes

"When I heard they were doing "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein", I pursued it, and it didn't happen. At the time, I was disappointed, but then I saw the movie." --Baker quoted in Entertainment Weekly, June 30-July 7, 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Elaine Parkyn. Divorced in 1984.
wife:
Elaine Parkyn. Has one; mother, Jill Townsend.
wife:
Silvia Abascal. Hairstylist. Married on November 10, 1987.
wife:
Silvia Abascal. Had two; both survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ralph Baker. Make-up man at Warner Bros. in Brooklyn, New York.
father:
Ralph Baker. Professional artist.
mother:
Doris Baker. Had two; survived her.
daughter:
Veronica Paige Baker. Survived her.
daughter:
Veronica Paige Baker. Born on June 8, 1989; mother, Sylvia Abascal.
daughter:
Rebecca Yvonne Baker. Has three children.
daughter:
Rebecca Yvonne Baker. Born on August 14, 1993; mother Silvia Abascal.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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